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  #11  
Old 12-15-2012
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Re: Heavy winds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
The point was that indeed, the 'force' from a given windspeed can be noticeably stronger in cold air than warm.
Faster agree 100%, was not disputing...actually relieved
as now i have some theory as to why the equivalent winter
wind seemed so much more intimidating then in summer!
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Re: Heavy winds?

Yes. Air is denser when it is colder. But it is denser on both sides of the sail, and it is the pressure difference that creates the force.
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Old 12-15-2012
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Re: Heavy winds?

check pressure density altitude and the temp relationship and the lift you get under the wing? Is a sail a wing on its side? Yes you are at the same alt unless the lake level is lower but small drops will not mean much. Alt may only come into play if you sail a lake at high alt vs ocean sea level Regards , Lou
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Re: Heavy winds?

As other have said, the cooler drier air of winter is noticably denser than the warmer damper air of summer. So a cooler wind of any given velocity will definitely result in more force on your sails than the same velocity breeze in summer. This is most notable during a winter sail when a small numerical windspeed change results in a much bigger apparent wind shift and more heeling. Sails that I can carry in summer into the mid-20 knot range, barely make it to 20 knots in winter.

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Re: Heavy winds?

A few years ago on new years, sons and I went out sailing in about 15 knots, put up the 135 I had at the time as we did in the summer, needed a reef pretty dang quick! So yes as others have said, winter colder temps one does not need as much SA up to hit the same speed, heeling etc. I'm 3-5 knots of wind slower in the winter vs summer temps, ie over 60 vs under say 50-60. Closer to freezing, even less yet.

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Re: Heavy winds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dugsmith98 View Post
Yes. Air is denser when it is colder. But it is denser on both sides of the sail, and it is the pressure difference that creates the force.
Imagine extremes to make the comparison between light and heavy air understandable. First think of a sail in space. Space is not 100% empty, it has just very, very little particles. Probably you are not gonna see anything hapening to your sail if these particles are moving at 12 knots? Now imagine using a sail in water with a 12 knot current. Water here represents very very heavy air. Probably your sail rips to pieces pretty soon.

So i dont know for certain how to explain scientifically why i think your airpressure difference thingy is wrong, but it really seems wrong to me
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Re: Heavy winds?

Btw, i am pretty new to sailing and have a question:

-How do you decide when you need to reef your sail, where is the limit ?

I have just recently gotten myself a boat and have sailed it from guatemala to cozumel this far. On the road i got into some pretty winds a few times. The first time as i was going sharp into the wind, it got really strong, it scared me and i took the sail down just(didnt yet know how to reef so took it down completely) Probably the boat bouncing like an idiot, sprays of water reaching into the cockpit and me getting seasick helped create my fear more than any objective observations.

A few days later i had a wonderfull SE wind when going from san pedro, belize to cozumel on a beam reach. I made 8,5 knots while my hullspeed is 7 knots. I figured that must be ok because there is supposed to be a 2 knot current helping me and i kept the sails up. But stil l must admit i hade some slight doubts if this was being a good thing for my boat and sails. So where should i draw the line ?
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Re: Heavy winds?

The thread is off the point. The OP judged the wind speed only by sea state. He did not measure true wind speed.

OBVIOUSLY cold air is more dense. Airplanes in the desert commonly take off lighter because they don't have the lift. But the point is if you measure the wind speed by its effect on the sea state, that has already been taken into account. It will push the waves in the same manner it will push your boat.

Simple, no aerodynamic hand waving required.
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Old 12-17-2012
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Re: Heavy winds?

Quote:
Simple, no aerodynamic hand waving required.
True. That, and climate change...

Just kidding. I agree with the science. It is enlightening to hear some that have actually been able to percieve the difference. If I was guessing, I would have assumed that small differences in wind velocity would have a much larger impact than air density. Good to learn new things!
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Old 12-17-2012
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Re: Heavy winds?

So basically, if i am sailing downwind and am drinking an ice cold beer, the wind blowing over it to my sails, my boat will go faster? Yet another reason to drink ice cold beer. Thank you Faster. Btw, if I put a fan behind my beer, will I go even faster (no pun intended Faster).

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